Rooibos Spiced Chai Tisane from Davidson’s Organics

RooibosSpicedChaiTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Davidson’s Organics

Tisane Description:

Rooibos (“red tea”) is harvested from shrubs grown in the high elevations of the cape regions of South Africa.  Rooibos has a full-bodied, rounded character, a slight sweetness, and blends well with green tea, black tea, other herbs and spices.  Enjoy this red tea based chai with just the right hint of sweetness and spices.  Delicious with milk and sweetener.  High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, Rooibos is well-known for its numerous health benefits and calming effects.  And it’s completely caffeine-free!  

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’m writing this review, it’s rather late in the evening.  A little too late to indulge in something caffeinated.  Caffeine in tea doesn’t usually overstimulate me but, I am still cautious once it is past a certain hour, because I don’t want to take a chance that I’ll be kept up from drinking too much caffeine.  So I decided to try one of my caffeine-free choices, and this Rooibos Spiced Chai is what I grabbed.

Hmm … it’s alright.  Not the best rooibos chai blends that I’ve tried.  I’m finding it to be just a wee bit thin, not just in body but also in spiced flavor.  I taste cinnamon and cloves, but I didn’t taste any other spice notes, and I guess that’s because the ingredients only list cloves and cinnamon.  I don’t really consider that to be a chai … but OK.  For me to think “chai” I want some peppery spices, perhaps some black pepper or ginger.  Some cardamom would be nice too.

But overall, it’s not a bad tasting rooibos chai.  It has a nice, honey-esque flavor to it, and the nutty flavor of the rooibos seems to accentuate the warm spice notes of the cinnamon and the cloves.  I like the way the earthiness of the spice plays with the natural earthiness of the rooibos.  It’s a pleasant, warm and cozy type of blend, and I found it helped to calm and relax me, which is what I want this time of night.

I don’t know if I’d buy this again.  It’s not something I’d put on my must have list nor would I make it a staple of my tea cupboard.  But it’s tasty.

Mandarin Chai with Anise from Davidson’s Organics

MandarinChaiwAniseTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Davidson’s Organics

Tea Description:

Beautiful, full-flavored black tea, chai spices, anise and mandarin orange essence.

Ingredients (* organic): Black tea*, cinnamon*, cloves*, cardamom*, orange peel*, natural flavor & anise seed*.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

This is another tea that I received from a friend as a holiday gift.  I hadn’t yet tried the Mandarin Chai with Anise from Davidson’s Organics so I was happy to receive it!

Eh … this is alright, but as far as chai blends go, it’s a little on the underwhelming side.  The black tea is flavorful, but the spices are a bit tame for my liking.  It’s not extraordinarily spicy, and chai blends don’t all have to be extraordinarily spicy to make me happy but, this just … seems to miss the mark a little bit.  Every once in a while I notice that my palate seems to be “searching” for the peppery kick of ginger but it doesn’t find it because there isn’t ginger in this.

I do like the snappy little licorice-y note that I get from the anise, and the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom give it a really wonderful warmth.  But part of me would like this to be a wee bit spicier than it is.  I think maybe I’d feel less disappointment if this weren’t called a chai and was instead called a “Mandarin Spice” blend.  I realize I’m arguing semantics here, because, ‘chai’ means ‘tea,’ but, as I’ve mentioned more than once, in this part of the world, we’ve come to think of chai meaning a spiced tea, and usually a highly spiced tea.

I do like the orange in this blend, it’s a little bit of “brightness” in the cup and it brings an overall “holiday-ish” sort of feel to the drink.  This tastes very much like what many tea companies would promote as their “holiday” blend, but there is much less spice to it than in the typical holiday blend.

It’s alright, but, just kind of boring.  In a world that is filled with so many interesting and wonderful teas, this one just falls a little short of the mark.

Tulsi Pure Leaves from Davidson’s Organics

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Davidson’s Organics

Tisane Description:

Davidson’s Pure Leaves blends three varieties of Tulsi (Krishna, Rama and Vana) to create the perfect balance of buttery and minty flavors.

Ingredients (* organic): Rama tulsi*, Krishna tulsi* and Vana tulsi*.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m sure I’ve probably proclaimed this at least once before, but, I’m going to say it again anyway:  the more I try Tulsi, the more I like it.  It has a such a delightful flavor that is slightly minty and a little spicy and I like the way these two qualities mingle with one another.

This Tulsi “Pure Leaves” from Davidson’s Organics is composed of three different varieties of Tulsi (also called “Holy Basil”), and having previously tried the Rama Tulsi on its own, I think I do prefer this combination.  The blend of three has a bit more complexity.

The flavor is savory and sweet, with the scale tipping more toward the savory than the sweet.  Hints of mint throughout the sip, and a peppery tingle tickles the tongue in the aftertaste.  There is a creaminess to this as well – its almost like butter.

There is a whole lot of flavor in this tisane, and it’s a great way to experience the flavor of Tulsi!

100% Organic Tulsi Signature Blend from Davidson’s Tea

Tea Type: Herbal Tea (Tulsi Base)

Where To Buy: Davidson’s Tea

Product Review:

Davidson’s Signature Blend blends three varieties of Tulsi (Krishna, Rama and Vana) with Peppermint, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Tasters Review:

We’ve recently made some new friends in the Tea World…the fine people at Davidson’s Tea.  We have many more Davidson Tea Reviews on tap so please check back!  They have a large selection of bagged teas…my favorite part…they’re ORGANIC!

As for this specific tea – or Tisane, in this case – it’s their 100% Organic Tulsi Signature Blend.

At first I thought this was somewhat relaxing but it does have a kick of spice to it…followed up with a subtle minty finish.

After really trying to pick out the individual ingredients I could taste the Tulsi, Pepper, Ginger, and Peppermint but they worked well together.  This signature Tulsi Blend seems to make my mouth water – a nice characteristic considering the ingredient combo!  I appreciate the fact there are not one, not two, but, THREE Tulsi’s in this blend!  Nicely Done, Davidson’s!!!


Organic Herbal Cranberry Orange from Davidson’s

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Davidson’s

Product Description:

Tart cranberries, rosehips, and hibiscus with sweet orange essence.

Ingredients (* organic): Rosehips*, orange peel*, hibiscus*, chamomile*, rooibos*, cranberries* & natural flavor.

Taster’s Review:

Yesterday, I published my review of Davidson’s Cranberry Orange Iced – Davidson’s tea of the month.  This is the loose leaf variety of their tea of the month.  They are both very similar, but two significant differences:  1.  this is a loose leaf tisane; and 2.  this loose leaf blend lists rooibos as one of its ingredients, whereas the bagged (both the iced and the single-serve bag) varieties do not.

Does the rooibos make a significant difference?  I am not sure … but I will work that out as I write this review.  What I notice about this tea, first and foremost, is the hibiscus.  It seems much stronger in this blend than it did in the iced tea I made for yesterday’s review.  It has a thicker consistency, not quite syrupy (I didn’t steep it long enough for that), and I can taste the hibiscus.  But, it doesn’t taste like the typical tarty hibiscus taste that I’ve grown to recognize as hibiscus, if that makes sense.  It is a far more tolerable hibiscus flavor – but that doesn’t mean that I’d rather it not be there.

Perhaps it is the flavors of the cranberry and orange that turn the tea around.  These prominent flavors make this hibiscus-y tea much more enjoyable to drink.  And now that I am about mid-way through my cup, I am noticing more of the rooibos flavor – there is a nuttiness in the background that is distinctly rooibos-like.  Much like the iced version, I don’t taste a lot of the chamomile here, but I’m glad it’s there.  Why?  Maybe it’s my imagination, but I suspect that the chamomile, together with the rooibos, helps to thin out the consistency of this tea and give it a very satisfying texture.

Overall, this herbal tea is tart with pleasing notes of sweetness and a very faint woody/nutty tone.  I really like that tangy note that comes from the orange.  While I did prefer the iced version, I find this to be a very soothing tea to be sipping this evening.  It is a very relaxing and yes, tasty cuppa.